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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)

When the bank forecloses on the home of an elderly couple (Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi), they are forced to separate with each one living with one of their five adult children. The children resent having been placed in the position of taking care of their parents. This contrived (even Shakespeare gave Lear one good hearted daughter) tearjerker is much revered but even if one gives in to the sappy finale and gets all misty eyed, one can't help but resent the calculated manipulation of director Leo McCarey. McCarey is no stranger to calculated tearjerking, his other films include LOVE AFFAIR, GOING MY WAY and AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, but McCarey forgets to make the parents worthy of our sentiment. The mother is a meddling, inconsiderate woman and the father is rude and whining. Indeed, when the father gets an opportunity to reunite with his wife and work as a caretaker, he turns the offer down, preferring to be taken care of by his kids. And just who raised those selfish kids anyway? Just perhaps, they all deserve each other. With Thomas Mitchell, Fay Bainter, Minna Gombell, Elisabeth Risdon, Louise Beavers and Porter Hall.

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